Santorum rips Obama on social agenda
February 19th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

(CNN) - Rick Santorum continued his offensive against President Barack Obama while speaking Sunday night to a church in Georgia ahead of the state’s primary next month, portraying the president as a leader intent on starting a cultural war.

As the audience roared with applause, the former Pennsylvania senator called on the country to build a foundation that will "defend the church, defend the family, defend the nonprofit community, defend them from a government that wants to weaken them."

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The rising presidential candidate has ramped up his rhetoric in recent weeks on social issues that have largely remained out of the presidential race until now.

Mostly, he's railed against the administration for a provision that would have required religious institutions to cover contraception in their health insurance plans, regardless of some faith-based teachings that oppose certain forms of birth control.

The White House in response announced it would amend the rule and require insurers to offer contraception at no charge, rather than force religiously affiliated employers to pay for the medication.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, has used the occasion to pin Obama as a president willing to override religious freedoms in order to further his own agenda.

Despite the administration's compromise, Santorum said the original policy was evidence of Obama’s world view.

"It is saying government knows better. It is imposing his ideology on a group of people expressing their theology - their moral code - and saying government will force you to do what your faith says is gravely wrong," Santorum said.

The candidate also made headlines on Saturday when he said Obama had a different "theology" than that found in the Bible, leaving some to speculate whether Santorum was questioning the president's Christian faith.

But the former senator on Sunday morning said he was referring to the president's position on what he called "radical" environmentalism and did not mean to imply religious tones when he used the word "theology."

Also see:

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Bachmann: GOP is extremely 'pro-women'

Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'


Filed under: Faith • Georgia • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Wowsors

    Santorum is a clown.

    February 20, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. PaulC

    I wonder what color the sky is in Santorum's world? His fantasies about Pres. Obama's anti-family, anti-religion, anti-nonprofit, anti-everything is kind of scary. His proposal to ban contraceptives and demand adherence to the Christian faith is very anti-constitutional in the prohibition against gov. establishing a religion. I would not be surprised if he proposed that women bear as many children as possible, wear a burka and men grow a beard and wear a sweater vest.

    February 20, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  3. trashcup

    Will somebody get Santorum to wear his aluminum foil hat, it seems the intergalactic micro waves have penetrated his brain and made him say stupid things. Does he really think the people of America are stupid enough to believe his comments about Obama's theology somehow morphed after a few hours into an environmental conversation? This guy is scary.

    February 20, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  4. The Greedy Old PIgs lost their minds!

    Yes Mr. Frothy, the President's attempt follow the Constitution and not allow your religion to dictate terms to those who are not members of your sect is exactly like having an anti-religion agenda (NOT!).

    February 20, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  5. Get real

    The factor that will determine who wins the election is whether or not we the people are ready as a nation to give up our Costitutional rights and allow the government to totally rule us. How many people even realize that Obamacare would force us to buy something we may not want or need because or pay a fine. No, it is not true that EVERYONE will need it. THAT is an assumption. And, even if everyone does eventually need it does not mean everyone cannot pay as they go. Living on a poverty level income we paid our medical bills, completely, without health insurance.

    February 20, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  6. Butter My Butt And Call Me a Biscuit

    I, for one, have no desire to live in Saint Rick's theocracy.

    February 20, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  7. Karl Frank

    It's ok. It was Rick Santorum's strong stand against gay rights that got him booted out of the PA Senate, let's not forget!

    February 20, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  8. john mccain

    Sad state of thinking. What times this guy is living in? 1850? Plain stupid.
    Also, until religious entities run businesses, they should comply all business requirements and regulations, like other businesses. Including paying taxes. No exceptions.

    February 20, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  9. Core Republican Values

    Core republican values are hypocrisy, homophobia, misogyny and ignorance. Sanctimonious does capture all of these filthy habits the best of all the candidates.

    February 20, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  10. cigarman

    Santorum just can`t help himself, or else he is a Presidential plant working for the Obama campaign. This Guy just continues to be the gift that just keeps on giving to the Democrats. Anyone who actually would vote for Santorum really needs to get a phychiatric test. If you as an individual really agree with anything this guy says, you are a SHEEPLE. The White House Spokesman Gibbs, for George Bush and the Republicans just said that the Republican Presidential Field is in a RACE for the bottom. I am shocked, a Republican who actually told the truth.

    February 20, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  11. mark

    No church has a place in government .

    February 20, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  12. McMAN71

    Can someone explain to me a use of the word theology that has nothing to do with religion?

    February 20, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. annie s

    Saint Torum needs to be told he's running for President, not Pope. Under this man, we'd have a theocracy, just like in Iran.

    February 20, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  14. ZB

    Santorum and this whole issue have nothing to do with religion and contraceptives and everything to do with politics and hate.

    First, lets be clear the "mandate" to provide contraceptives to woman does not apply to religious practice but only to non religious enterprises engaged in by a religious entity. When a a religious organization makes the choice of going into the hospital business should not and cannot be exempted from the same regulations as any other hospital just because it is owned by a religious entity. To make an exception for a religiously owned entity just because it is religiously owned would open the door any breach of any law simply on the basis of ownership by a religious group.

    What would then prevent any one, group, or business from proclaiming itself a religion and thereby exempt itself from any government regulation, say for example, discrimination against people of different color, gender, nationality, sexual preferences, or age?

    Our constitution protects religious freedom, but it doesn't protect the right to discriminate or brake the law in the name of religion, particularly when engaged in an activity that is not directly related to the religion.

    Make no mistake, this controversy being enflamed by the far right is not about protecting religious freedom but all about opening the door to bigotry and hate in the name of religion. God help us if the nation elects Santorum or any of these reight wing nutcases of hate.

    Underscoring this phony controversy by the far right is the fact almost half of all contraceptives are prescribed for serious non contraceptive medical purposes.

    February 20, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  15. Piranha Soup

    I can smell the stentch all the way up here in Rochester.

    February 20, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  16. T'sah From Virginia

    Santorum is too SNOOTY to be president of the United States!!! He is "self-centered" and have a NERVE attacking President Obama's theology when he himself, wants to impose all of what he believes to EVERY living soul in America – Santorum is NOT my body or does he shares my views – AndI do not speak ONLY for me!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    February 20, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  17. Liz the First

    It is not the job of the government to protect the church! it is the job of the government to protect people FROM the church! it's amazing how the rethugs constantly accuse others of the very things they're guilty of, starting cluture wars, being intolerant, etc. Santorum is the poster boy for everything that's wrong with the republican ideology. i hope he does get the nomination. it'll guarantee Obama is re-elected and the country is saved from being dragged back into the ditch.

    February 20, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  18. janedoe

    What about defense of alien invasion? That is about as preposterous as his claims.

    February 20, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  19. CJ

    Now, who could it be that's actually running the country? Could it be . . . . . Satan? Mr. Santorum is looking like and sounding like Church Lady a little more every day. Isn't that special?

    February 20, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  20. dj wazu NYC

    "what your faith says is gravely wrong" Do you really need faith to tell you what is gravely wrong?

    he's railed against the administration for a provision that would have required religious institutions to cover contraception in their health insurance plans, regardless of some faith-based teachings that oppose certain forms of birth control.

    The same faith-based teachings that used to say the universe revolved around the earth and kill people for it!
    The same faith-based teachings that endorsed slavery saying it was gods will!.
    The same faith-based teachings who hid and still are hiding the pedophiles in their ranks!
    The same faith-based teachings who's made of of primarily of men!
    Religulous and irrational as usual.

    Santorum, the same guy who wants to start a war as soon as he gets in office!!!

    February 20, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  21. Dr Albert

    Whatever happened to separation of Church and State ?

    February 20, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. Rey

    Like pastor Ted, and Sherriff Babeu, Santorum's radical views are covering a deeper issue.... stay tuned for more hypocrisy...

    February 20, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  23. lvphil

    read any flannery o'conner short story and you will realize why the people in the church were clapping

    February 20, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  24. Max Powers

    I was against this right wing philosophy, until I realized that as a Rasta Fari, I can now smoke pot, because the government can't impede my religious beliefs. I'm also church of the first born, so I don't have to take kids to the doctor, if I hit someone in a cross walk, I don't even have to stop, just pray when I get home. As a Jew, I can now serve poor people rotten meat, it's in leviticus. And as a Muslim, I don't have to submit to a search at the airport anymore! This is going to be so awesome!

    February 20, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  25. hilreal

    Wonder what Jese would say about his "social agenda"? Take from the poor and give to the rich. Unbelievable coming form a guy who was voted the most unethical.....

    February 20, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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